The Ministry of Agriculture wants to replace the right of free

privatization in “physical” hectares with the right to a fixed discount on the purchase and lease of state land, announced the Minister, Roman Leshchenko. This discount will be the same and guaranteed for all citizens, plus additional benefits will be provided for veterans and some other categories of citizens. According to Leshchenko, free privatization of land in its current format is a tool that allows abusing this right.

Since Ukraine’s new farm land market started on July 1, 5,552 sales agreements have been approved.

The average price is $1,500 per hectare. “Everything is working normally, without conflicts,” Prime Minister Shmygal told the Cabinet yesterday. Until the end of 2023, sales can only between Ukrainian individuals for a maximum of 100 hectares. Starting in 2024 Ukrainian companies can participate, buying up to 10,000 hectares. A national referendum is to decide if foreigners and foreign companies can participate in the market.

In its first week, Ukraine’s farmland market has seen 322 transactions

, Prime Minister Shmygal advised the Ukraine Reform Conference in Vilnius yesterday. “Myths about the mass sale of land and the export of Ukrainian black soil remain just myths,” he said. Currently limited to sales of 100 hectares or less between Ukrainians, the market is to grow after January 1, 2024. Then, Ukrainian companies will be allowed to purchase up to 10,000 hectares. Shmygal has predicted that the farmland market will generate $10 billion in new investment.

The market starts with limits – sales are only permitted between Ukrainians for areas less than 100 hectares.

The Economy Ministry estimates that the average price of a hectare will be around $2,000. On January 1, 2024, the market will expand to Ukrainian-owned companies and the size limit will increase to 10,000 hectares. Allowing foreigners to buy Ukrainian farmland is only to be decided by a national referendum. At present, polls indicate that Ukrainians are opposed to the sale of land to foreigners.

From the start, farmers cultivating up to 500 hectares will be eligible for bank loans

sponsored by a new fund, the Partial Credit Guarantee Fund for Agriculture. When farmland goes up for sale, tenants have the first right of refusal to buy. Landlords must notify tenants in writing of their intention to sell the land, indicating price and terms of sale. Sellers will have to pay 5% personal income tax and 1.5% military duty tax on the cost of the plot sold. Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Roman Leshchenko posted on his Facebook page

During the 20-year ban on farm land sales, Ukraine’s state has lost the equivalent of “almost two Crimean peninsulas,” to land thefts by “businessmen and politicians,”

President Zelenskiy said yesterday at Ukraine 30, a land forum. About 5 million hectares of state land moved illegally into private hands, he said. Crimea’s territory is 2.7 million hectares. During the land sale moratorium, 7 million rural residents were deprived of full ownership rights, and 1 million died, often in poverty, unable to sell their land, he said.